While there have been some changes in the backend, it hasn’t really helped me any. I mentioned Stormrage right? Well, there are 28 US servers that are locked/full and have queues (7/~100 PvE servers). The good news is that’s only a minor amount compared to other ones. The bad news is that’s still about 5K per server… so at best 100,000 affected, but more like two to 3 times that of people who don’t want to even bother with the queue.
So the stupid part first. Here are the clearly poor design decisions at work to manage this issue.
- no new race
- no new class
- single NPC to start the quest
- only 1 way to get there
- single starting zone
All of those items could have spread out the population a bit. LK and Cata both had 2 starting zones. Everyone has had either a race or a class, so you had a bunch of people in the starting zones (remember DK-pa-looza?)
Those are things they knew ahead of time and could have mitigated.
What they could not mitigate is the 10 year architecture of servers. Sure, they’ve been trying to merge them for a while now – code name Connected Realms – but the reality is that the actual server and the zones within are single instances. Stormwind/Ogrimmar and Valley were instanced capitals, so that you sort of zoned into a sub-zone of the main city. It made sense, since you don’t want to have 2000+ people at the AH, though sometimes it may seem that way. Without instances, you crash a zone. Which is why Blizz put on server logon caps, which is making this queue stuff pretty crazy.
Blasted Lands is not instanced. Nothing outside of the capital in WoD was instanced. Now they are making the entire expansion an instanced event. So Blizz is raising the server caps. This has made it much better for a lot of people but it also took a 4 hour downtime patch on a Saturday morning to put it in. Guess the feature wasn’t on the top of their list until this fun started.
So the queues that are left are not so much a problem with design of WoD anymore, it’s just the 10 year old servers and that the instance scaling in WoD doesn’t apply to the entire game. I’m sure they have some smart people trying to sort all that out.
It is an interesting situation though. 13 months of no content and for some reason not expecting people to try out the expansion. I guess they underestimated their appeal.
So if I can’t play WoW, I’ll play SWTOR. I hit 55 with my Imperial Agent and I’ve headed back to Corellia to finish off the main quest. It’s a little odd losing the GSI boost which gave me 2500 of my main stat and now going down to 1200. Enemies are 7 levels lower than me though, so the power output is relatively the same.
I do rather enjoy the combat structure now, in particular with the orbital strike option. IA is a ramp up class, where it needs the opponent to be afflicted for their strong attack to work. Which makes it hard to take out a bunch of normal opponents since you need to apply 2 DoTs and a prep skill to use the big one. It’s fine on elites though. Orbital Strike allows me to continually hit the masses, which makes it a fair bit easier overall.
So I’m now 4 of 8 on the advanced classes at 55. Juggernaut (tank/dps warrior), Operative (heal/dps imperial agent), Powertech (tank/dps bounty hunter) and Sorcerer (heal/dps inquisitor). Of them all, I prefer the Sorcerer above the rest in terms of playstyle. Likely because it’s so familiar, in particular with a smooth resource generator. The Powertech is next, with some more interesting skills and movement abilities. Juggernaut is a close one here, with a similar skill set but less fun to watch. Imperial Agent has a great story but I’m really not a fan of the playstyle, which is more ramp-up/maintenance than I’d prefer. Great story though.
I do have a 31 sniper which I think I’ll try til the end. I’ll might give the other advanced classes a try, where the Shadow seems an interesting option.
It’s an odd compare but it’s a bit like my Monk in WoW, where while it’s a class that can do it all (like Druids and Paladins), it just seems to have a better flow for my playstyle. The Esper in Wildstar felt the same way, in particular once TK became mobile. Sometimes you just click with a character and no matter what other one you try after, it just doesn’t work the same way. (The monk in WoW is basically my Rogue but without the archaic design decisions.)
Tomorrow’s queue should be an interesting note.